Food trucks may or may not be right for Ripon.
The City Council directed staff to explore such options at Tuesday’s monthly session.
“I think the topic is worth pursuing,” said Vice Mayor Leo Zuber, who requested opening a dialogue on this mobile food option.
Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Tamara Spade provided information based on a survey consisting of local businesses. Her disclaimer was that the Chamber had not taken an interest in this matter either way.
The sample size — 15 of the 25 responded — did show that most expressed an interest, believing that this could offer more dining options alongside the brick-and-mortar food businesses in town.
“The majority were in favor,” she said
They also believed that allowing food trucks in Ripon could bring in more people into town, as long as those trucks were parked in designated areas (not situated in downtown) at, for example, the Mistlin Sports Park, the shopping center along Wilma Avenue and Main Street, or in the Industrial section on Third Street.
“These are issues that have been floating out there for quite a while,” Zuber said. “There are a lot of concerns — would this harm (business) for the brick-and-mortar merchants?”
Food trucks have been around locally for special events.
Jana and Rob Nairn had a successful go during the Fourth of July celebration at Mistlin with their food truck, The Tri-Tipery.
That’s the same food truck making regular stops in Modesto, Merced, Hillmar and Escalon.
“We’re very respectful with the brick-and-mortar (merchants) and believe there could be a balance,” said Jana Nairn, speaking on behalf of her business.
One resident spoke out against the food trucks due to his experience while living in Salida.
“We’ll make the right decision,” Zuber said. “The fact that we’re talking about it — and that’s all we’re doing — is good, bad or indifferent.”
He pointed out that his experience during his time as an elected leader is that changes to an ordinance in Ripon comes with a time limit.
“The recommendation (from staff) might be — don’t mess with this (ordinance),” Zuber added.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.